By Bradi Murphy | Arts & Life Editor
Coming all the way from London, the professional vocal ensemble St Martin’s Voices will be performing in Waco Hall at 9:05, 10:10 and 11:55 a.m. today during Chapel.
They also performed Monday at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Tuesday at Armstrong Browning Library.
St Martin’s Voices is a professional choir that formed about three years ago. All of the 10 members are recent graduates who are establishing singing careers. This is St Martin’s Voices’ first major tour in the U.S., where they are performing in Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee.
Back in London, they also sing in services and concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields church and about 10 broadcasts each year on BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation.
About nine months ago, Andrew Earis, director of music at St Martin-in-the-Fields church, visited Baylor. What he thought was just going to be a one-evening concert, “suddenly spiraled into this fantastic collaboration,” he said.
“Strangely, I thought [Texas] would be a lot different, but it feels actually very similar [to London],” Earis said. “It’s that really interesting kind of cosmopolitan mix, and there are so many similarities, particularly in the kind of music programs. It’s been really exciting to see.”
St Martin’s Voices is from the St Martin-in-the-Fields church, which is famous around the world for its location in central London, its architecture, its royal connections and its 90-year record of broadcasting. The church prides itself on being accepting of anyone, having a strong musical background and holding over 20 services a week.
The church’s flourishing background of music began in the 18th century when Handel and Mozart performed. Today, the church continues thriving with many great ensembles, choirs and soloists, the St Martin-in-the-Fields website said.
“It’s so interesting to see the different angles that people come up with music from, and it’s very much just one common language around the world, so it’s just been really good to get to know a lot of people with similar interests,” Earis said.
Sarah Maxted, soprano for St Martin’s Voices said she is also enjoying the Texas scenery, weather, the bears on campus and a diverse set of vocalists.
“Coming to St Martin’s as a choral scholar, it was my first step in the adult, professional world,” Maxted said. “It’s quite daunting. You finish your studies and move to London, like, ‘I know this is where I need to be, but how do I do this?’ The choral scholarship at St Martin’s really just set me up with everything I needed to know about being a professional singer and being in London.”
Maxted also explained that over the years the choir has worked together and through the tour, they have become better friends.
“[We are] working closer together and really getting to know each other’s voices and just really enjoying making music together,” Maxted said.
Maxted and Earis said they are looking forward to seeing the big crowd of students that comes out for Chapel. Baylor Chapel in Waco Hall is free and open to the public, not just for Baylor students.
“They say that everything in Texas is bigger, and I think it is going to be quite an experience. I’m hoping it’s going to be a very nice volume since students are similar in age with us,” Maxted said.
St Martin’s Voices will visit the East Coast to perform in spring 2017.